Human Flow isn’t about its creator, Ai Weiwei, but one of its key moments, occurring about a half an hour before its end, is pure Ai. On their tour of hotspots in our burgeoning global refugee crisis, the director and his crew stop at the U.S./Mexico border to capture footage and talk with locals living on the line of delineation separating the two countries. As the crew films, they are at one point interrupted by the arrival of an American yokel riding a four-wheeler. Whether he’s official or just some self-styled border patrolling vigilante is unclear, though his intent to intimidate the filmmakers is crystalline. Ai Weiwei, having spent the better part of the film’s two-hour running time demonstrating his unfailing grace alongside his bottomless compassion, scarcely reacts. He doesn’t even budge.
Amazon Studios brings bold and innovative series and films from top tier and up-and-coming creators to customers in over 200 countries and territories. Original productions range from daring and timely subject matter such as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq; to the critically hailed The Grand Tour, Mozart in the Jungle and Man in the High Castle. In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution exclusively for Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The Salesman (Best Foreign Film). Recent notable releases include the box office success The Big Sick, which is one of the top streaming films on Prime. Upcoming films in 2018 include Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself, Luca Guadagnio’s Suspiria and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.
The company launched amazon.com Auctions, a web auctions service, in March 1999. However, it failed to chip away at the large market share of the industry pioneer, eBay. Later, the company launched a fixed-price marketplace business, zShops, in September 1999, and the now defunct partnership with Sotheby's, called Sothebys.amazon.com, in November. Auctions and zShops evolved into Amazon Marketplace, a service launched in November 2000 that let customers sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and other products alongside new items. As of October 2014, Amazon Marketplace is the largest of its kind, followed by similar marketplaces from Sears, Rakuten and Newegg.